Good Morning, Broncos fans! Our friend Woody Paige is back with some real, actual (and needed) journalism today. In confirming what Adam Schefter stated on Sunday NFL Countdown on Sunday, Woodrow says Josh McDaniels is very much safe in Denver. This is especially so because the Broncos are already paying half of Mike Shanahan’s annual $7 million salary in 2010 and 2011, and owner Pat Bowlen will not consider paying three head coaches next season (if there is one). But aside from the fiscal reasoning of why not to fire McDaniels this year, Woody states that Mr. B and COO Joe Ellis are pleased with how McDaniels and GM Brian Xanders have managed the salary cap and upgraded the roster, and they see growth in McDaniels in his off-field management of players.
As Woody closes his column, it is indeed a good thing that Broncos fans cannot vote for or against McDaniels’ continued stewardship of the Denver franchise. While we can all see that there have been obvious personnel mistakes over the past 21+ months, I think we can also agree there has been improvement in the depth of the roster and in the presence of young talent across many positions. Certainly, there are some which are lacking in that department - the defensive line and perhaps linebacker, although no matter a team’s depth, there will always be struggles without a unit’s two best players (Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers).
I’m about to speculate a bit, so please either bear with me, or skip ahead to the links. I mentioned yesterday morning that these Broncos have been making a lot of on-field mistakes. But perhaps they are not mistakes per se, aside from the obvious individual errors (shanked punts, a missed extra point), but rather simply the result of talent gaps. Backup players like Russ Hochstein, Joe Mays and Ryan McBean are on the field too much, and the better Denver players cannot play to their abilities because they are compensating for the shortcomings of others. Taking a cue from our good friend Ben Boyd, let’s just accept that McDaniels and Xanders need another offseason to raise the “talent floor” of this team, and with greater talent and the same coaching, we will see fewer mistakes on the field come Sundays.
In no way is this to excuse the personnel miscues of McDaniels and Xanders, but they are still relatively new to their current gigs and surely Mr. B and Joe Ellis were prepared for bumps and potholes along the way. While I’m not sure many of us fans were too, we at least have the gift of hindsight on our side. And heck, for those who still wish Shanny were here, he has just offered up a perfect reminder of why he is gone, with his bumbled handling of Donovan McNabb, the veteran QB he traded two high draft choices for, gave a boatload of new money just to play out his existing contract, and benched with minutes to go in a close game Sunday for none other than Rex Grossman. Then, Shanahan followed up with two differing explanations, one questioning McNabb’s knowledge of the playbook (a common theme in the QB’s career) and the next stating that the guy he’d dished out all this cash to wasn’t in good enough shape to run the two-minute offense sans timeouts.
So, anyone still miss Shanny? Of course, for many the issue is not McDaniels/Shanahan but rather McDaniels/The Other Guy I Wanted Mr. B to Hire. But my point is simply that if an undisputed “quarterback guru extraordinaire” of Shanny’s ilk can royally screw up the handling of a player like McNabb, then how can we not excuse the mistakes of Josh McDaniels along the way? Thankfully, Woody has let us know what the time frame is, at minimum - so we don’t have to speculate about McDaniels’ job going forward. Let’s just figure out what he has to do to keep that job in 2012 and beyond…
Read Woody’s important column here.
Mike Klis examines a few of the what-if’s that could have put the Broncos in a better position at the bye.
Bill Barnwell of FO breaks down the Broncos’ loss to San Fran. I don’t think he knows that Andre’ Goodman has been hurt, or that Perrish Cox is really good…
Legwold on some of the Broncos’ most glaring on-field errors.
Legwold with a bit of analysis on the Broncos’ slow starts and lack of TD runs longer than a yard.
While he doesn’t come out and talk EPV, Todd Haley discusses his seemingly-aggressive nature on fourth downs.
Jokeland is banged up, but after two straight resounding victories, they’ll take it.
Meanwhile, Rolando McClain will apparently not be talking anytime soon.
Randy Moss is already being dumped by the Vikings. For speculation on where he might end up or whether the Broncos should pick him up, you know where to go.
Pat Kirwan was puzzled by Shanny’s strange call.
Mike Lombardi was impressed by Troy Smith and says the Broncos have got to score more points.
Here’s Peter King’s MMQB if you haven’t already gotten to it.
Of course, you could always just skip it and just head over to KSK for translation.
Here’s what CHFF learned this week.